Archive | March, 2008

Gmail Redesigned?

With a little help from the Stylish Firefox extension and a few create people, you can give just about any web site a new look – even Gmail. You have to admit, after years and years of pretty much looking at the same interface, don’t your eyeballs deserve to gaze at something new? One of the newest unique Gmail themes for the Stylish addon I have seen is Gmail Redesigned.

New Gmail Design?

Admittedly the author says it is still a work in progress and “in development” but already I have to say it is a unique look if nothing else. The black background for the contacts section kind of bugs me – but the rest is looking pretty slick. You can pick up this user style for Stylish over at UserStyles.org.

Firefox 3, We Will See You in June!

firefox-release I have never been one for doing a lot of news but I’ll wear the suit and tie any ways while writing this quick post.  According to Wired’s tech blog the final release of Firefox 3 is due in June of this year.  This was disclosed to a roundtable discussion of tech bloggers (I wasn’t invited to!*) on Wednesday. 

To give you a timeline to work with, right now we are at Firefox 3, beta 4.  Firefox 3, beta 5 is expected to be released the first week of April (hopefully not on the 1st!). That should though be the last of the beta releases for Firefox 3.

In May we should be seeing the first release candidate hit the streets, and then most of the work will go into kicking extension developers in the pants to try to get them to officially update their code to work with Firefox 3. 

* – I am sure my invitation got lost in the mail, right guys? RIGHT?!

New Firefox Add-ons Site Goes Live

I shared a preview of it with you a few weeks back, and it looks like the Mozilla team has flipped the switch on the new Firefox add-ons web site.  All your old favorite features are still there, the categories the search and the recommended extensions.  They are all just displayed in an updated and prettier fashion. 

New Firefox Add-ons Site

At first glance, it didn’t really give me any shock and awe feeling or emotion but after navigating around it for a while it is an improvement over the older styled web site.

So What is New to Love?

reviews-for-firefox-addonsThey have made the "review and rate" box easier to reach when checking out add-ons one by one, which will encourage more feedback to be given.  Also there are a few more related links on each add-on’s web page to give you that, "Well, if you like this then go check out that!" sort of feeling.

The larger search box at the top of all the pages is a welcome addition too.  Not only does it give it that Web 2.0 feeling but it is handy to have it bold and in my face when looking where to search for more extensions.  

Also when you are doing a search, you now have the option to "Add to Firefox" right from the search results.  You no longer have to search, pull up the addon’s profile, and then add it to your browser.  There are a lot of little things that just make this a really welcomed update I think for many Firefox users out there.

To get some more inside information about the back end of things be sure to check out Basil’s Bodacious Blog

Here Come the Firefox 3 Chrome Hacks

Firefox 3 Chrome Edits Well it was just a matter of time before a few of these started to roll out. While checking out a post over at Foxiewire, I found at least my first page of them. Eric Wendelin has posted a few chrome tweaks you can make to the browser. Just edit your UserChrome.css and insert his code inside for these awesome effects:

  • Specify the max height for the Auto-complete list
  • Remove splitter between the URL and Search bars to save space
  • Changed from #bookmarks-menu in FF2
  • Remove the Bookmark star, I use Ctrl-D instead
  • Remove the URL bar Go button
  • Style the new auto-complete list
  • Make the active tab wider (when you have a few tabs open)

Grab them all on his blog post, and be sure to tell him thanks too. For more Firefox 3 chrome hacking fun, if you have the Stylish extension you might grab a few of these tweaks and changes.

+ Check Out FirefoxFacts.com’s Firefox 3 Section for More!

Add Favorite Locations to Firefox

fav-loc Right now I use my “downloads” folder as a catch all for all the things (audio, video, pictures and more) that I download from the Web.  From there I sort it out to where it needs to go.  If you want to add a few more favorite locations to save to from Firefox you can do so with the FavLoc addon.

FavLoc (short for favorite location) will let you set certain folders as favorite locations to easily download files to.  For an example, lets say you subscribed to my podcast, the Web Hosting Show and you wanted to send all the mp3s you downloaded to your special podcast folder.  With this extension, you would just add your podcast folder as one of your favorite locations, then you have instant right-click and save access to it.  No more downloading and then sorting it all out later.

The FavLoc menus will appear on the File menu (for saving pages), the context menu (for saving images and links), and on the download prompt.  Sure there are other ways to go about this, but this one was put in place to save us all a little time.

Firefox 3 is Best of the Betas?

In a comparison with Internet Explorer 8, Safari, and Opera 9.5 I think Firefox 3 so far wins hands down.  To get a better idea of what you can expect though from the next generation of browsers, Cnet has put up a nice round up of all the latest for you to browse through and see what you like and hate about each.

The section on how it compares to the others was the most enlightening of all:

Firefox remains the best browser on the whole, with great features, impressive improvements all-round, a revised bookmarking system and thousands of add-ons to make it easy to perfectly customise.

The improvements in performance are stellar, it’s got some well-integrated features than everyone will use (resumable download manager, tag-ready bookmarking) and it offers, overall, a better, richer Web experience. We’re behind Firefox and we hope that when the final release is out it’ll be just that little bit better to boot.

More great news for the Mozilla crew!  Is there something the other browsers are getting or doing that you wish Firefox 3 would try to do too?

Safari Auto Installs to Bulk User Numbers?

Rotten Apples? Just think of all the people out there who have installed iTunes and either use it religiously or just have it to say they have it. Now think of all those people all of the sudden got a “magical gift” from Apple that included a free download of Safari the next time they did the Apple Software Update.

Many are pretty angry about Apple using it’s software updating service to push out updates for products people never downloaded. A lot of people are asking, “Well, why would they do this?”.

The answer is simple. They want an easy way into the browser wars. Ridding on the coat tails of Quick Time or iTunes, sneaking onto a person’s PC is the easiest way to do it. John Lilly (Mozilla’s CEO) had a very interesting write up on this worth checking out.

Lets just say, don’t be surprised if in a few months down the road the number of Safari users equals or is a little less than the number of iTunes users. Who would Safari be able to knock down the list? Opera or Firefox?

Firefox 3 Isn’t Ready…Yet!

Reuters Messes Up So should you or should you not be using Firefox 3 yet?  I would say for 90% of the population or people using Firefox, no.  You should at least wait for the release candidate versions or the final version.  The fact of the mater is, even though Firefox 3 looks good it still is not done yet.  The idea of bringing this topic up started after reading a post over at Cybernet News:

There is a lot of talking going around the Internet about Firefox 3 Beta being ready for mass usage. It’s because of an article by Reuters where the creators of Firefox supposedly told them that the Firefox 3 Beta is ready for everyone to use after months of being in development.

So I thought I would do what I can to help spread the words too about Firefox 3 being nice, pretty but not ready for prime time just yet.  Just to give you an idea of how long you should wait – I haven’t even replaced Firefox 2 yet.  Personally I’ll wait till it goes into the "release candidate" versions so that I can get ahead of the curve with some of your questions about it.

Also major "shame shame" on Reuters for not doing their homework on this.

Multiple Ways to Send a Link to Another Window

open-in-window

Got an e-mail in from a Firefox Facts reader named TommyD.  He wanted to know if I knew of any simple ways to send a link or page to a second Firefox window.  To show you what a good sport I am I’ll give you three ways of getting that done.

With just a new context menu added to your Firefox browser you can open any links in an existing window with the over obviously named OpenInWindow extension.  When you right-click the link you can pick which of your open Windows to send it over to.  This is handy if you have a lot of open windows and wish to pass links between them.

Now you can also do this another way, with no need for an extension or addon.  Just drag the tab for the site you wish to move over to the new window.  In doing so – you will be not just moving the page over, you will be sending a copy of that page to the other Firefox window you have open. 

Last, but not least – you can right click any link, and by default Firefox has a "Open in New Window" option there for you to give this page you open it’s very own Window to work in.  There you have it, three fixes for one simple problem. 

More Firefox Wallpaper to Love

A lot of creative people have done a lot of creative things with the Firefox brand. Having brands all over the place isn’t usually my desktop layout of choice, but wit Firefox I will make an exception. Here are some new Firefox wallpapers that have caught my eye and I think would be perfect for any desktop out there today.

Firefox_wallpaper_by_skribb Firefox_by_FalconNL

FireFox_Wallpaper_Pack_by_FSDown _by_iyanichek

Firefox_Technica_by_bacontheory FieryFox_by_dotacreepy

Want more Firefox wallpaper? Go check out my selections for the five star Firefox wallpaper.